Philadelphia Metropolis

Publius

Commentary and analysis about city, state and regional issues

First War, Then Peace

Gov. Corbett presented his budget for the next fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with great pomp and fanfare.  The budget, which totals $28.4 billion, is enumerated in excruciating detail in a budget book equal... (Comments)

His Guys, His Game

There are two possible explanations why nine judges on Philadelphia's Traffic Court allegedly engaged in widespread ticket fixing, outlined in great detail in indictments of handed down last week by a federal grand jury. One is that the judges, sitting... (Comments)

Blaming The Man

It's hard to play the race card in Philadelphia these days. It's hard to blame The Man when you are the man. But it's also hard to break old habits.  Witness the news conference held this week by opponents of... (Comments)

Taming Pac-Man

You've heard of the carrot and the stick?  It appears Gov. Corbett will be trying a variation on that tactic when it comes to taming the cost of public pensions.  Call it the stick and the stick. Corbett made clear... (Comments)

Unintended Consequences

There's an interesting back story to the visit of Gov. Corbett to Philadelphia last week to tout the state's expanded voucher program for non-public schools. Of course, they are not called vouchers, but scholarships, and the money does not come... (Comments)

Thank you, Mr. Penn

Although all 27 tons of him stands atop City Hall, William Penn isn't exactly a strong presence in the city he founded.  Compared to Benjamin Franklin, he's practically anonymous, so it's rare for someone to offer a modern tribute to... (Comments)

Learning to Compete

When I was a kid and complained about what was served for dinner, my father would always say: "It you don't like it, you can always go down the street." That always shut me up. This was in the 1950's... (Comments)

The Four Faces of Tom

Anyone trying to figure out what Gov. Corbett was up to this week in filing a suit against the NCAA and the sanctions it imposed on Penn State should go to Netflix and rent the 1957 movie The Three Faces... (Comments)

Trawling for Cash

Myron Berman may be about to realize a decades-long dream of putting a giant wall wrap on the office building he owns on North 7th Street, just north of Callowhill Street. Council has passed a bill letting Berman erect a... (Comments)

Our King Canute Moment

In the unfolding drama called "The Fate of Philadelphia Public Schools," one group has decided to play the role of King Canute. For those whose English history is a bit dusty, Canute was the 11th century Danish-born king of England... (Comments)

More Than Tears

When I heard about the slaughter of the innocents in Connecticut, I headed to my basement to look through my archival collections of various reports, studies, task-force reports and other miscellany dealing with Philadelphia. I was looking for a study... (Comments)

Man of Mystery

Allow me to introduce myself. I represent men of great wealth and fame. You may know me as a reporter, columnist and bon vivant, but I confess I have had a secret life. I am the local representative of the... (Comments)

Ringing His Bell

When the distance between your beliefs and the facts become extreme we can suffer from what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, the mental equivalent of the tines of a fork scraping across a blackboard. I am beginning to have cognitive dissonance... (Comments)

Leadership in Action

If you respect the law and love sausages, you should see Lincoln, the new movie from Steven Spielberg, now playing in theaters everywhere, as the ads say. As I told friends, it is the best movie I have ever seen... (Comments)

We Are Shocked!

Like Casablanca's Capt. Renault, I am shocked, shocked to learn about reports of ticket-fixing at Traffic Court outlined in today's (Nov. 21) Inquirer. Reporter Craig McCoy got ahold of an investigation report ordered up by the state Supreme Court that... (Comments)

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